WEGO Health Launches Public Beta Test of WEGOHealth.tv: Online Video Platform to Expand Voice, Reach of Social Media Health Leaders

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WEGOHealth.tv features authentic health conversations with leading health social media contributors; new platform aims to further consumer engagement in healthcare and health issues

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We are taking these Health Activists off their keyboards and onto the airwaves to amplify their voices and reach an even greater audience, Jack Barrette, WEGO Health.

WEGO Health, the only online health community for Health Activists, today announced the public beta test launch of its latest communication platform, WEGOHealth.tv. An online video network, WEGOHealth.tv creates and distributes engaging, conversation-style videos featuring some of the most prominent online leaders in health social media. These Health Activists – dedicated, active online health consumers who each reach an audience of more than 15,000 per month – are featured in the videos, sharing their communities’ experiences, valuable insight and expertise that have made them such highly trusted contributors to online health.

Videos are produced through collaboration with one or more Health Activists, bringing to life a specific topic from active questions and discussions in the online health community. WEGOHealth.tv’s beta launch today features video channels on Multiple Sclerosis, Joint Pain, Breast Cancer and Diabetes, health issues faced by millions of Americans each day. Additional topics, channels and videos will be premiering regularly; currently, visitors can check out videos including:

Diabetes: Fact vs Fiction, where Ronnie Gregory confesses, “As a Diabetic advocate, I find the stigmas surrounding the disease are very tough to break. Diabetes can affect each and every one of us.”
Are You a Cancer “Victim?”, in which Alicia Staley explains, “I don’t think I would be able to go through the breast cancer experiences with the attitude that I did if I was going to play victim.”
Staying active with Joint Pain, where Lisa Copen recommends, “When you have a chronic condition, especially one that has joint pain, you don’t want to push yourself until you feel pain because that could be doing damage.”

“We’re driving consumer health engagement by dedicating an entire video channel to Health Activists, whose trust, and whose impact in health social media make them some of the most highly regarded voices online,” says Jack Barrette, WEGO Health founder and CEO. “We are taking these Health Activists off their keyboards and onto the airwaves to amplify their voices and reach an even greater audience. Our goal is simple: unleash the power of video to help motivate consumers to take ownership of their health and their families’ health. We believe empowered consumers will drive substantial, positive change in healthcare.”

The new web-based TV channel supports the trend of increasing consumer health engagement through the use of video; as a recent study by the Pew Research Center shows, “25 percent of internet users, or 19 percent of adults, have watched an online video about health or medical issues” (The Social Life of Health Information, 2011). Early adopters in the online health video trend are Health Activist: a study by WEGO Health revealed that 70 percent of Health Activists watch online videos about health topics, and Health Activists are four times more likely to create and upload their own health videos than the average online consumer. WEGOHealth.tv offers these social media power users production, editing and promotional support for both current video creators and those who want to add video to their communities for the first time.

“Videos allow Health Activists and community leaders to really show the passion behind their message and connect with their audience in an even more personal way,” commented Jenni Prokopy, WEGO Health Activist and blogger at ChronicBabe.com. “Most of us will never meet our readers and Twitter followers in person; videos allow us to see them in action, hear their voices, witness the emotion on their faces and connect with them in a deeper way.”

“Every video will feature Health Activists who are tackling real issues from their communities online: overcoming health obstacles, making discoveries about health and wellness, collaborating with health professionals and becoming active participants in their health,” said Barrette.

WEGOHealth.tv will be supported by advertising and sponsorship from healthcare companies that recognize the explosive growth of health social media. All paid advertising and/or content will be clearly marked, and all video editorial decisions will be independent of sponsor control.

For more information, visit http://www.wegohealth.tv.

About WEGO Health
WEGO Health is the home of Health Activists who are passionate organizers, connectors and contributors in health communities across the web. These leaders meet at WEGO Health to learn from each other and speak directly to healthcare companies about the issues that are most important to them. Founded in 2007 and led by online health pioneers Jack Barrette and Bob Brooks, WEGO Health is a privately held, privately funded company headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. For more information, visit http://www.wegohealth.com.

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Emma Douglas
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